The head of a popular Kent bakery chain is opening a new branch in a town centre.
Garage Coffee Roasters will launch later this month on Richmond Street, off Herne Bay’s High Street, as it expands the much-loved business.
The site was previously occupied by Bayked, which closed last year despite efforts by the owners to turn things around after an inspector found ants and flies in the food.
Luke Underdown, who launched Garage Coffee Roasters in 2015 and runs the business with his wife Alice, has since taken over the premises.
The business already has stores in Canterbury, Whitstable and Margate, with a roastery in Hoath, on the outskirts of the city.
“I live in Herne Bay and we provide Bayked with our coffee so we were very sad to see them go,” said the 30-year-old.
“We have been looking for a space to expand our bakery.
“We currently bake everything in our Canterbury store.
“He was available and it was the perfect opportunity. We’re going to build on what Bayked started.”
He says the new store will bring the chain’s signature coffee to the area, along with sourdough bread, croissants, pain au chocolat, sandwiches and sausage rolls.
It will only be takeout, but there will be a couple of seats outside.
And while opening hours are to be confirmed, Underdown believes they will be from 8:30am to 4:00pm every day.
“Our goal is to make high-quality, specialty coffee accessible to people who want to drink it,” he added.
“Our teams are well trained to do this and we have three or four different origin coffees to drink when you walk into our stores.
“We will bring that level of knowledge and enthusiasm to the coffee scene and bring high-quality products and ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources into our baked goods and cakes.”
Ants and flies were found crawling on food at Bayked last year as it became the lowest rated restaurant in the Canterbury district.
The owners closed the business to allow drastic measures to be taken after a city inspector made the shocking discovery.
One report described how the official became “very concerned” about the cleanliness of the premises, giving it a hygiene rating of zero, the lowest possible score.
After further inspection, the business was given a four-star hygiene rating, but the family behind it decided to close.
Mr Underwood says he has been working closely with the local authority to make sure everything is up to standard.
“There have been a lot of things we had to do to get to the level we want,” he explained.
“We didn’t have to do construction work, but we did have electricians, we made things safer and we did some deep cleaning.”
The new branch will open on Saturday, January 28.